Over the next few weeks, we’ll be providing you with some quick-hit style background information on the various developers who have submitted bids for the West Side Yards site. Today, we’re starting with Tishman Speyer, whose bid is pictured above.
Founded in 1978 in New York, Tishman Speyer (“TS”) has managed 77 million square feet of real estate assets since its inception. In the last three years, the company has been involved in three of the largest real-estate deals in American history. TS is traded publicly and has around 1100 employees in 25 offices worldwide. They recently spearheaded (along with Lehman Brothers), a takeover of Archstone, which was at the time the third largest Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) in the country.
After the jump, check out the details of some of Tishman Speyer’s notable developments and properties.
Rockefeller Center. TS has been involved in directing property since 1996; they’ve owned it outright (with silent investment partners) since 2001. The company’s global headquarters are located in Rockefeller Center.
MetLife Building. Purchased for $1.72 billion in 2005 from MetLife. At the time this was the highest price paid for a US Office building. TS owns this building in partnership with NYC Employee’s Retirement System and NYC Teacher’s Retirement System. Trivia: in 1987, New York magazine ran a poll that ranked the then-Pan Am Building as the structure New Yorkers would most like demolished. (According to Wikipedia).
520 Madison Avenue. Developed and built by TS, who assembled the various parcels of real estate on the block into a whole for the project. A restaurant that did not want to relocate was on the block and the building was constructed around them. The building itself evokes 9 West 57th Street by sloping to the street, although the slope is more angular and brutal here.
Chrysler Center. Beginning in 1998, TS redeveloped the block of 42nd Street between Lex and 3rd to link the Chrysler Building and the “Chrysler East” modern office structure adjacent to it. This redevelopment project features the notable Philip Johnson “Trylons” on 42nd Street.
Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village. Urban renewal, project-style housing development planned in 1943; the first tenancies in Stuyvesant Town began in 1947. Spans from the East River to 1st Avenue and from 14th Street to 23rd Street, and altogether includes 110 buildings, 11,250 apartments, and over 25,000 residents. TS purchased in 2006 (partnering with the real estate arm of private equity firm BlackRock) from MetLife for $5.4 B. This is the biggest real estate deal in US history. Ongoing controversy surrounding MetLife’s decision to sell to the highest bidder instead of giving preferential treatment to a bid made by coalition of then-current residents. TS, MetLife and their backers are currently being sued by market-rate tenants in both communities over the fact that MetLife charged market-rate rents while at the same time (perhaps illegally) taking real estate tax benefits from the City of New York.
Notable development projects:
Sony Center – Berlin. At the center of the revitalized and redeveloped Potsdamer Platz, this Helmut Jahn-designed project includes 7 buildings and many uses. Helmut Jahn is also the master plan architect of record for TS’ West Side Yards proposal, and in their marketing to the MTA and the public TS has noted the Sony Center as an example of their previously proven facility with projects of this scale. The centerpiece of the Sony Center, the Forum (pictured above), is a large public space closed to the weather at the top but accessible from the street grid, programmed with cultural events and activated by ground-floor retail. Interestingly enough, the TS West Side Yards proposal also includes a public space called the Forum.
Hearst Tower. Widely lauded for its achievement architecturally, this Sir Richard Foster-designed building was complex project, and involved building a totally modern skyscraper while preserving and restoring a landmarked building at its base. The Hearst building is one of the most environmentally-friendly skyscrapers in America. It earned LEED Gold status and was the first “green” building in New York City.